How to Setup a Ledger Nano S


This step by step tutorial shows how to setup a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet with Ledger Live, the official Ledger’s app for the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Blue.

As of today, one of the most popular hardware wallets available in the market is the Ledger Nano S. It has sold more than 1.3 million units worldwide since its introduction in June 2016. The reason for this fast growth is because is one of the best hardware wallets available with top notch security to safely keep your Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies.

The Ledger Nano S comes with a cable to connect it to the computer, a recovery sheet, and a keyring.

How to setup a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet With Ledger Live

Installing Ledger Live App.

1. The first step is to download the Ledger Live app from ledger’s website. To do this go to the Ledger Live Website. The all in one app is designed to manage all your wallets in the same place. NOTE: Before downloading the app make sure to check the security certificate SSL to ensure it’s the right website.

Ledger Live download page

2. Click on “Download Now” button and save the file.

3. Install the program on your computer.

Dowbload and install ledger live screenshot

4. After the program is installed, click on “Finish” to run the Ledger Live.

Completing ledger live setup screenshot

5. Once Ledger Live opens, click on the “Get Started”

6. On this tutorial on how to setup a Ledger Nano S it’s assumed that the device is being initialized for the first time. Being this the case click on “Initialize a New Ledger Device” button to continue.

7. In this section select the Ledger device to initialize. Ledger produces two hardware wallets, one is the Ledger Nano S which is the most popular and the Ledger Blue.

Select which device to initialize and click “Continue”. The rest of this setup tutorial uses the Ledger Nano S, but the the process  to setup the Ledger Blue, is very similar.

Setting up the Ledger Nano S

1. Connect one side of the cable to your Ledger Nano S and the other side to the computer. When connected you will see a welcome message on the device’s screen.

2. After the device boots up, on the screen you will see the message, “Press both buttons to begin”. Press the left and right buttons at the same time to continue.

3. You will be prompted to choose to either configure as new device by pressing the right button or the left button to recover the device. In this case a new device is being setup, so press the right button to continue.

4. After choosing to set up as a new device you must choose a PIN code. This PIN code will unlock the device each time that is going to be used. To do this press both buttons to go to the next screen which allows the user to enter a PIN code.

5. Use the left and right buttons to increase or decrease the numbers from 0-9. Once a number has been selected, press both buttons to continue with the next one. Repeat this procedure until a password with 4 or 8 digits has been selected.

I highly recommend that an 8 digit password is selected because this would greatly increase the security of your device. After entering the PIN, the device will ask you to confirm the PIN.

6. After setting the password, the next step is to write down the recovery phrases. This step is the most important in the set up because now a list of 24 words will be given to you by the device in a specific order that you need to write down in the provided recovery sheet. Take the time writing these words and make sure to write them in the exact order as they are given in the device’s screen.

For example, copy the word displayed below Word # 1 in position 1 on the blank recovery sheet, press the right button to display Word #2 and repeat the process until all 24 words are copies on the recovery sheet.

WARNING: Never write these 24 words on your computer, smartphone, table or any electronic device. Never take a picture of the word list, only write the words in a piece of paper.  Only use paper and pen, do not use any kind of electronic device because electronic devices can be hacked.

It is very important to keep this recovery sheet very safe and secure because this would give complete access to your wallets to whoever has this list. If you would like to know How to Keep Your Recovery Sheet Secure, please read this post.

7. In this step the hardware wallet is going to ask to confirm some of the words that have been written. To do this select each requested word and press both buttons to validate it. Repeat this procedure until you have validated all requested words.

8. Next you must go through the security checklist. You have to answer if you chose your PIN yourself, if you saved your recovery phrase by yourself. Finally the software is going to check if your device is genuine by checking the integrity of the secured chip with an encrypted key. If your device is genuine it will give a message saying that it is genuine. Click “Continue”.

9. In this step the Ledger Live software asks to enter a password to prevent unauthorized access to the balances, and public addresses. Even though this is optional, I highly recommend choosing a password to protect the information.

Just to clarify, even if you don’t add a password, there is no hay to send funds unless you have the hardware wallet connected to your computer and you manually accepting a transaction. This is just to prevent people from seeing your balances. Click “Continue” to proceed.

10. Here you can choose if you want to share anonymously usage diagnostics and bug reports. Click “Continue” to proceed. You will get a Congratulations screen saying that your device is ready. Click “Open Ledger Live” to proceed.

11. After you are done with the setup of the Ledger Nano S, it is time to install in it the different wallets for each coin. The first wallet you must install is the Bitcoin wallet, the reason is because many other coin wallets work on top of it, such as the Litecoin and Dogecoin, etc.

If you are going to install any ERC20 token wallet you must install the Ethereum wallet because ERC20 tokens run on the Ethereum network.

To do this click on “Manager” on the left menu. Ledger Live is going to ask you to confirm in your device if you want Manager to access it to install wallets, press the right button to confirm.

12. To install the Bitcoin wallet lick on Install next to the Bitcoin symbol, do the same process for each one of the wallets you want to install in your device.

13. After installing all desired wallets, click on “Portfolio” on the upper left side of the menu to easily see and manage wallets. In order to view balances in the portfolio each coin must be added. By doing this balances can be checked, also price history.

To do this step and continue the setup of the Ledger Nano S it must be connected to the computer and allow ledger live to access the device to add coins to your portfolio.

Repeat the same procedure for each one of the coins you wish to add to your portfolio.

Now that all desired wallets are installed and coins added to the portfolio, it is very easy keep track of all transactions done to send or receive coins. It is also possible to see historical data such as current and previous prices on each coin and manage the portfolio. This concludes with the tutorial of how to setup a Ledger Nano S.


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